Friday, June 26, 2009

Loggerhead getaway

Loggerhead Key is 3 miles and a world away from Garden Key, home of Fort Jefferson. A couple weekends ago, Robin and I went to Loggerhead Key for our standard days off. We went snorkeling and kayaking and had a great time, even though we had no running water due to a downed water system. And even though a sandbar shark kept stalking us while we snorkeled, causing us to make a beeline for the beach.

We stayed in what is known as the "Little House", while some friends of ours stayed in the "Big House" (also known as the party house, complete with icemaker, that the Coast Guard uses when in the area).

See some photos of our Loggerhead weekend, including an exciting photo of a turtle nest and our only way to shower (no nudity, please).

(Although Robin has since gotten the water system back up and running, a lightning strike just destroyed the power source that ran the water pump. Sigh. A maintenance man's job is never done.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Top 10 reasons why our ghetto Jetta is the perfect vehicle

In preparation for hurricane season, we swapped out our 2007 Toyota Tundra with a circa 1998 Volkswagon Jetta. It was originally recovered from a wreck, fixed up by Robin and subsequently (ab)used by Robin's son.
  1. Weight loss aid. The air conditioning is broken, resulting in significant weight loss from all the sweating.
  2. Built-in mister. When it rains, a leak in the windshield mists the passenger (a pleasant relief from the sweltering heat).
  3. Great donut. The spare tire comes in mighty handy whenever one of the old tires blows (which is what happened last weekend and we drove 150 miles on it from Homestead to Key West).
  4. Health aid. The significant amount of water we drink because of the broken A/C contributes to clean pores and bladder health.
  5. Easy spot. Unique body work and features (different colored hood, broken off spoiler, different colored bumper) make it easy to find in any parking lot.
  6. Conversation starter. A theft-proof radio frozen in the locked-out mode encourages conversation because there's no music.
  7. Gas economy. This cruiser gets 34+ miles to the gallon (way better than the Tundra). We hardly ever have to fill up.
  8. Easy parking. Measuring a full 5+ feet shorter than the Tundra, it is a dream to parallel park and get around the narrow streets of Key West.
  9. Blank canvas. The hood and various other parts need some paint and body work, the perfect artistic outlet (we're thinking about painting a shark on the hood).
  10. Worry free. It's already beat up and not worth much monetarily so we don't worry about scratches, dents and dings from all the yahoo drivers, bikers, scooters and pedestrians swarming around Key West.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It's been a while since I posted some photos so here are a few of work and play.

  • Work: Getting trash off Loggerhead Key and Garden Key is always an endeavor. For Garden Key, we load it all on the park service vessel, haul it to Key West, unload it from the park service vessel into a truck and then haul it to the dump. From Loggerhead, we airlifted the trash using helicopters! Take a look!
  • Work: It's a huge birding migration area, especially on Bush Key. I headed there one day with a renown researcher. See some of the birds.